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Author: janice-nieder

Fall Under Sedona’s spell at Enchantment Resort and Mii amo Spa

After a very hectic couple of weeks, I was sooo looking forward to flying into Phoenix, where I was going to be picked up by my friend, Joan, (who recently lost her beloved father and was in dire need of a restorative retreat) and then take the scenic, two hour drive to the Enchantment Resort/ Mii amo in spiritual Sedona. As an avid spa-goer, visiting Enchantment/ Mii amo, had been on my short list for quite some time. After all, you don’t rack up a laundry list of accolades ranging from the #1 destination spa in the world by...

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2014 Fancy Food Show Reveals New Gourmet Food Trends

The 2014 Golden Globes featured so many exciting, talked-around-the-water-cooler fashion trends that it makes you wonder if it’s just coincidence or is it all pre-ordained and some people just didn’t get the memo? The leading trend was striking blood-red gowns, followed by dramatic emerald green stunners, pale but bejeweled dresses and austere monochromatic numbers. You could say the same thing about the 39th Winter Fancy Food Show held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center that just finished its three-day run. Featuring over 80,000 specialty foods and beverage products from the U.S. and 35+ countries, I’m always mystified that, like the...

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Sarasota, Florida: Circus, Culinary & Culture Galore

All I knew about Florida was the hip, albeit slightly exhausting, party scene in South Beach and the family-oriented, albeit really exhausting, activities around Orlando. And then I discovered the southwestern coast of Florida, in particular, Sarasota, which is called Florida’s “Cultural Coast” for good reason. Add in the pristine, white-sandy beaches, the burgeoning culinary scene, a wide selection of glam hotels, dozens of performing arts venues, glorious sunshine, and you have yourself a perfect winter getaway spot. To Do: Join the Circus When John Ringling brought the circus to town in 1927, I wonder if he knew that...

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4th Annual Napa Truffle Festival Was a Success!

I just returned from the most erotic, exotic, earthy, smelly and totally unforgettable G-rated weekend of my life and I swear I’m never washing my hands again. It was the 4th Annual Napa Truffle Festival, produced by the American Truffle Company (ATC) where world class cuisine met cutting edge truffle science, which translates to learning everything you ever wanted to know about truffles- from cultivating them, hunting them, to tips on the best ways to buy, store and cook with these pricey lovelies.  From January 17-20, attendees could take advantage of seminars geared toward potential growers, attend chef demonstrations,...

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New Orleans Cooking Experience Shares Secrets

After arriving at the New Orleans Cooking Experience​ (NOCE)​, I knew I was in for a great cooking class when the first words out of Frank Brigtsen’s mouth (a fifth-generation NOLA chef and owner of Brigtsen’s Restaurant) were, “Food is about sharing, not about keeping secrets.” Full of classes that celebrate the traditional Creole and Cajun cooking of Louisiana, NOCE features traditional and historic recipes taught by their family of well-known chefs. Fun-filled classes include personalized instruction, unlimited wine service, complete recipe packets, and a tour of the house and dining. Following your cooking class you will enjoy a seated dinner served party-style...

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Canyon Ranch’s Chef Giovanni Arias wins The 2013 Healthy Chef Award

Layering flavor is a cooking term that covers combining, expanding, and intensifying flavors which is just one of many techniques Executive Chef Giovanni Arias uses to create the scrumptious, lower-calorie menu served at Miami’s Canyon Ranch Grill. I thoroughly enjoyed Chef G’s healthier renditions of everything from crab eggs Benedict with creole sauce, the totally addictive, crispy (from grilling not frying) yucca fries dipped in a lively habanero cilantro sauce, and a so-decadently-rich-I-still-can’t-believe-it’s-only-210-calories, Black Forest molten cake with brandied cherries, that I nicknamed him the ‘flavor whisperer’. Obviously I’m not the only one who feel this way since Chef...

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Canyon Ranch Hotel and Spa Miami Beach

My 12-step program for Canyon Ranch Hotel and Spa Miami Beach.  On a recent trip to Suriname, I had to fly from San Francisco to Miami to catch my international flight. I was just going to book a no-brainer airport overnight (which usually ranks somewhere between unmemorable to downright unpleasant) when I remembered that there was a Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach. I had so thoroughly enjoyed my stay at “ The Ranch” in Tucson that I thought this could offer a healthy sleepover between flights. It turned out to be a brilliant move. Follow my...

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Anatomie – The Ultimate Fashion Top

Anatomie, where have you been all my life?  You could have saved me years from looking schleppy while traveling or like I just rolled out of bed (which I usually have) when working out at the gym. Oh well, I’m happy we’re finally BFF’s although I could really use a friend’s and family discount, since I’m now totally addicted to your fabulous clothes. And to think it was all just a chance meeting. On a recent flight I was sitting next to a very chic woman wearing a sophisticated, figure-flattering, stretchy black and grey jacket and pants. She looked...

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4th Annual Napa Truffle Festival, January 17-20, 2014

  I don’t know about you, but I always thought it was criminal that the 12 days of Christmas don’t include a gift of truffles. I’d so kick those noisy “calling birds” to the curb and replace them with a basket of these fragrant fungi. If your sig other is any sort of foodie and you need a very last minute gift, there’s still time to score tickets to the 4th Annual Napa Truffle Festival , January 17-20, 2014. The American Truffle Company returns to Napa with the fourth annual Napa Truffle Festival – bringing together two complementary aspects...

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We Don’t Need Snow to Have Fun at Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

I’d been meaning to check out the new Ritz-Carlton at Lake Tahoe for the last year, but due to a jam packed travel schedule I missed last year’s ski season. Rather then wait for this years, I sent out a “yo” to my NYC sis, to see if she wanted to fly out and be my wing-woman. Her answer came as no big surprise. Read on for a recap of just how much fun girlfriends can have at The Ritz– no matter what season it is! No sooner had my sis and I pulled into the hotel’s driveway then...

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One Aldwych Equals One Fabulous London Hotel

One popular travel website has over 1000 hotels listed in London, with 322 of them in the luxury category. It’s difficult to know where to begin your search…by number of stars, location, price point, or perhaps more specific requirements such as on-site gym or a decent on-site restaurant. After an absolutely perfect stay at One Aldwych (and I don’t say that lightly) where my every creature comfort was met and often surpassed, I wholeheartedly suggest you save yourself from tedious research and simply go online immediately and book a room, any room. However, for a real treat, try and...

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Tuscon’s Canyon Ranch, Like Fine Wine, Just Gets Better With Age

Last week, I visited Canyon Ranch in Tucson for my third time in about 20 years, accompanied by my rather stressed-out friend, Joan, who was a newbie there.  One afternoon, as I was “mindfully” eating my delish lunch (that included healthier-versions of fish tacos heaped with salsa and shredded cabbage, a cup of aromatically-spiced dal soup, minty zucchini feta pancakes and a frozen chocolate-dipped banana for dessert, which to my way of thinking was all guilt-free all since I had just returned from a pretty steep 5.5 mile mountain hike) while sprawled on a poolside lounge chair, I picked...

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